Soil Microbial Ecology
Agriculture is one of Australia’s most important industries, despite the difficulties faced in our tough, uncompromising environment. Innovation and efficiency have been critical to Australian agricultural productivity and competitiveness, and Bioscience has been helping farmers and growers succeed for over 25 years.
At Bioscience, our strength is understanding soil from every perspective: how it retains water and nutrients, its physically properties, and most importantly, the beneficial and harmful ways soil microorganisms interact with plants.
With our practical experience and research into crop nutrition, soil stability and soil microbial ecology we have developed world leading products and technologies to help farmers improve the health of their soils that underpin sustainable and profitable plant production.
Sustainable, profitable and efficient solutions.
After many years of working and talking with farmers, and research into crop nutrition, soil stability and soil microbial ecology we have developed world leading products and technology to keep farmers on track to achieve healthier soils that promote sustainable, profitable plant production.
Soils contain vast numbers of microorganisms. Just one gram of a healthy soil can contain over 10,000 species of bacteria and 1010 individual cells. These bacteria together with other soil microorganisms (e.g. fungi and archaea) form the “soil microbiome”. High biodiversity is indicative of a healthy soil, so when there are more microbial species in your soil, the healthier and more productive it is likely to be.
BIOSCIENCE CAN MEASURE THE HEALTH OF YOUR SOIL
Understanding how many and which microorganisms live in your soil allows us to determine effective management strategies that will increase the productivity of your soil. We can accurately measure the diversity of your soil microbiome and combine this knowledge with data from your soil fertility analysis to recommend an appropriate treatment plan to restore your soil’s health.
We can also compare the soil microbiomes of different fields, plots, treatments, management practices, and amendment types. This is a particularly helpful monitoring tool if you are trying to improve your soil health and want to determine if what you have done had beneficial effects on your soil biodiversity.
WHAT WE DO?
After you submitted your soil samples, we extract the DNA from the living organisms in your soil. We then use DNA technology to determine the number of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) which is a proxy for the number of species present in the soil. Next, we perform principle components analyses (PCA) to understand how the microbiome has changed in response to our treatment plan.
Bioprime is a unique soil priming agent that works by changing the soil microbiome. When applied to soil, even in very small amounts, Bioprime changes the diversity within a wide range of important soil microbial groups, promoting the development and diversity of beneficial microbes. The outcome of these changes is a stronger plant, better root growth, and ultimately a more efficient system delivering higher crop yields.
Bioprime is manufactured from natural raw materials using a patented process. Bioprime is non-toxic and completely biodegradable. Most importantly for grain growers, only small volumes are required (2-4 L per hectare) to produce beneficial changes, so it is an inexpensive way to look after your soil’s health.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Bioprime contains a wide range of organic components. Some components, “quorum quenchers”, act to suppress harmful pathogens while others act as soil priming agents and “quorum sensors”, stimulating microbial groups known to be beneficial to plant roots. Some components are identical to the organic acids and signalling molecules that plant roots secrete to attract beneficial microbes.
In trials, Bioprime has:
- Altered the microbiome of soils and rhizospheres increased the abundance of Actinobacteria (known disease-suppressors) and beneficial fungi
- Increased productivity on non-wetting soils
- Improved overall soil health for a more productive system resulting in increased crop yields.
Bioprime produces a healthier soil with greater diversity of beneficial microbes and a reduction in pathogens. Most importantly for grain growers, only small volumes are required (2-4L per hectare) to produce changes, so it is inexpensive.
ONGOING BIOPRIME R&D
Bioprime has a 20-year history of use in intensive horticulture mainly for disease suppression. Since its inception, Bioprime has been rigorously tested in a variety of pot and field trials, and in different farming systems including horticulture, broad-acre agriculture, and the nurseries industry. It has proven successful in suppressing diseases and promoting plant growth and yields. Thus, Bioprime has increased the profitability of our customers’ businesses.
Recent advances in fermentation technology have led to increased levels of active ingredients and lowered production costs making it very cost-effective for our customers.
We are committed to ongoing R&D of Bioprime and open to work with our customers in determining optimal application times and rates for their specific crops and production systems.
Bioprime field trials have been conducted for a number of years at different locations. The graph below shows increases in wheat yields after applying Bioprime at different locations across Western Australia. The average grain yield increase of all sites and years is 8.1% (represented by the grey dotted line). The variance in the data can be explained by the differences in soil fertility before the trial meaning that we see bigger improvements with Bioprime on less fertile soils.
Bioscience works hand-in-hand with Australian farmers and producers to develop our specialist products and services. Our Australia-wide trials help to further our research and knowledge and ensure the Australian agricultural industry remains a world leader.
Contact us for more information or to participate in our next R&D trials.